calla And the Kabale Open to discussions about whether it is Rajinikanthor Ba RanjithMovies. Many find that the films are neither there nor here. Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Suffers from a similar problem. However, the controversy here is not whether it’s director Gotham Menon’s movie or star Selamparasan’s. The confusion is whether it belongs to Gautham or the film’s writer Jeyamohan. It’s a much better problem because there is finally a mainstream Tamil movie featuring a star who trusts its writer. Had the trust continued until the end of the movie, Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu would have become an incredible gangster origin story. Unfortunately, what starts out as a slice-of-life drama about a directionless “hero” ends up becoming a generalized, rushing gangster drama about a “hero”.
There is a lot in Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu that sets it apart from typical gangster movies like its story or, should I say, the lack of it. This is not to say that it is as misguided as Gautham’s previous projects such as Enai Noki Paayum Thota and Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. There is a familiar story here about a man named Muthu from a small village in southern Tamil Nadu who became a gangster in Mumbai, but not told in the familiar syntax used by mainstream Tamils. The hero takes a back seat here, while the script and writer take the wheel.
When we meet Muthu (Silmabarasan at his best), he is shirtless and hardly on his firewood farm under the scorching sun. The postman in the village has a short conversation with Muthu. Before he leaves, he lights my hand and assures Muthu that his deceased father will show him a “path” from above. Minutes later, the entire farm caught fire. After his only source of livelihood is destroyed, Muthu and his mother decide to seek help from a relative who works in a hotel in Mumbai. “Method” was born. You see, like many mainstream movies, there’s fire involved in the protagonist’s introduction scene, but it’s not the way we’re used to.
The best thing about Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is the characterization of Muthu. There is something heroic about Muthu’s journey, but there is no heroism. It is realistic but there is something mystical in it. His mother wants him outside the village because the fortuneteller said he would draw blood if he stayed in the village. The dialogues also become written. When Muthu decides to embark on his journey to Mumbai, his mother says, “Thikathavangalukku saami thunai irukum (To the directionless one, God will support him). Muthu replies, “Saami illana pei (He is God or other than Satan). This line sounded more heroic than the raging background dozen. Maybe that’s why we have a restricted Rahman here, which allows silence and dialogue to do the job in so many places.
Unfortunately, all the great things about Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu lose their charm as the movie ends. The film appears to have been written by two minds. The movie feels different when it comes to Muthu, and the moment Sir Idnani enters as his love interest for Paavai, we’re in a completely different movie. To be precise, it’s the “GVM-Simbu” area, which goes against the realistic and earthly tone of the rest of the movie. It is stark and undermines the vibrant nature of the film. Even if one is willing to overlook such color contrasts, the ending of Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is horribly disjointed. To be honest, the movie had a great ending, but someone seems to have changed their mind and wanted to get more out of the movie to keep up with the current trend of ‘universe’ building and sequences. It only led to a bewildering climax that left all the great achievements of Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu. pity.